Saltwater Vs. Fresh Water Pools

There was once a time when pool variances were rare. Homeowners were able to pick from a small selection of chlorine pool styles and then would pay an arm and a leg, wait months for it to be built, and be happy; it’s no wonder the not very efficient above ground pool went through a brief period of popularity! Today, however, is another story altogether. Choosing from styles of all shapes and sizes, surface materials, depths, and even edge styles makes the process a bit more complicated, and when you add the choice of saltwater versus fresh water, it should make you glad that you have us on your side to help you interpret your Arizona pool choices!

The Popular Choice

Although chlorine works perfectly well, the benefits of a salt water pool make them the most popular choice in new Arizona pool builds. Saltwater pools are much better at maintaining the chemical balance needed for clarity and health, and because saltwater pools convert salt particles to chloritic acid, which is the purest form of chlorine, it helps keep the pH levels from fluctuating.

Another saltwater pool characteristic is the lower amount of chloramines that are produced by oxidation; chloramines are the irritants in chlorine that burn your eyes, leaving them red and irritated. And although many people worry that a saltwater pool will make the skin dry and itchy much as a swim in the ocean would, the levels of salt parts per million (ppm) in a pool average about 2800 to 4200; for comparison, salt levels in the sea run about 35,000 ppm. The softer water of saltwater pools leaves the pool running smoother, cleaner, and may help people with skin allergies suffer less reactions.

While a saltwater pool costs more to set up initially, maintenance costs are low enough to help pool owners make up the difference in the long run.

Still a Viable Solution for You Arizona Pool

The startup cost of a saltwater pool can make it difficult for homeowners on a limited budget to afford, so if a chlorine pool is all that your budget can withstand, go with that option. Chlorine pools can be converted to saltwater at any time, so choosing this alternative doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to chlorine forever—you’re just putting it off for a minute or two!

New Image Landscape and Pools Can Help

There are a lot of issues to consider when making the decision to build an Arizona pool in your backyard. Give us a call today and let’s get started on your personal oasis!

The Importance of Shock in a Pool

You may have heard the term “shock” pool bandied about among pool owners. This is actually a very important aspect of pool maintenance. Shocking a swimming pool—also called super chlorination—is actually a very important step in pool management, so it’s important that you understand the when, why, and how of shocking a pool. Most pool owners don’t even think about shocking their pools until they step out and see either algae, cloudy water, or both. However, by shocking the pool, these issues can be avoided.

Why Do You Need to Shock Your Pool?

When people swim in the pool, organics and contaminants are introduced into the water through things like saliva, sweat, skin cells, body lotions, urine, and many other such things. Natural contaminants such as leaves and dirt can also contaminate the water. These substances are a food source for algae and bacteria. Using pool sanitizers (such as chlorine) can kill the bacteria/algae and breakdown contaminants.

Types of Pool Shock

Essentially, there are two different types of pool shock: chlorine and non-chlorine. When using chlorine, the levels of chlorine in the pool raised very high to destroy contaminants. When using this type of pool shock, you have to wait for the chlorine levels to lower to normal levels before you can use the pool. This can take time, and testing is required.

With non-chlorine treatments, potassium monopersulfate is used rather than chlorine. While it is effective at oxidizing contaminants, it will not kill bacteria. The main benefit of this type of pool shock is that you don’t have as long of a wait to use the pool afterwards.

Maintaining your pool’s proper chemical balance can reduce the need to shock your pool. And of course, this is done through regular maintenance and monitoring of chemical levels. However, you may find that even the best monitoring and care can cause issues with your pool. This can happen through heavy use, after a rain or windstorm, or even after a water change.

The professionals at New Image Landscape and Pools understand all the intricacies of caring for your pool and the times when it may be necessary to shock your pool. If you feel your pool needs a shock, or you just want more information about the proper maintenance and care, just give us a call.

How to Make Your Pool High-Tech!

Technology can be a wonderful thing. It can make our chores easier and allow us to spend more time enjoying our technology-driven playthings and less time maintaining them. Take your average backyard pool, for example. In the old days, we were lucky to have a kidney shaped pool with a single light and a single-phase pump circulating the pool, with no more than a 1.0 or 1.5 horsepower motor. Today’s technology, however, offers bells and whistles you never dreamed of, with most actions being controlled by a single app on your phone, computer, or tablet. Lower energy bills, colorful lights, and pools that clean themselves can be yours when you turn your pool into a smart pool with technology and automation.

Integrated into Your Smart Home System

A smart home plus a smart pool equals one very happy homeowner, and most automation systems will integrate with your smart home systems. The automation total control system will replace your traditional subpanel breaker box, with all the leading manufacturers making smart systems to automate their own equipment. Start with a variable speed pump, the latest and greatest ways to circulate, filter, and clean your pool while using less energy, thereby costing less money. These money savers are required by law in most states, including Arizona, California, and Nevada, and can be controlled by the smart app on your phone.

Robotic Pool Cleaners

The standard pool cleaners are water powered gadgets that randomly run around the pool only when the pump is circulating, but a robotic cleaner runs independent from the pool equipment, plugs into an outlet, maps out your pool, and never covers the same spot twice. They also do a better job at climbing and scrubbing the walls; the only downside is they won’t connect to your smart pool app. Some cleaners do have their own separate app, however, and can cost you anywhere from $800 to $1800 depending on the sophistication of the unit.

LED Lighting & Water Features

Advances in pool technology have also improved the lighting and water feature areas of your pool. LED lighting connects to your pool app and offers a variety of colors and modes that can be set to go on and off with timers controlled by your app. Smaller accent lights can be used in shallower and darker areas of your pool, thus illuminating them better for nighttime swimming. Finally, LED sheer descents provide a glasslike waterfall effect, and LED-lighted jets offer a pool lighting show that will amaze and awe your family and friends!

Let New Image Landscape and Pools Help You Make Your Pool Life Easier

Give us a call and let’s start a conversation about how smart technology can change your life!

Top Five Tips for Irrigating a Large Lawn in Arizona

You’ve got the property, you’ve got the house, and you’ve got the lawn—a big, beautiful, lush green lawn. You’ve also got the desert environment of Arizona, but you’re determined to keep your perfect lawn from succumbing to the arid Southwestern climate, even in the face of blistering heat and periodic water usage restrictions. There are a whole host of things you can do to minimize water usage, yet still keep your lawn healthy and happy, too many to list here; however, here’s the top five lawn maintenance tricks you can do to maintain a thriving lawn even under the most adverse of conditions.

Watering

Instead of watering your lawn daily, water every two to three days. In the evening is the best time to water, as the heat of the day will cause evaporation and the water doesn’t have a chance to get to the roots. Be sure that your sprinklers are watering only the grass, not the driveway or walkways. If you haven’t already, replace your sprinkler heads with water-economical sprinkler heads, and if you have a broken one, replace it immediately. Putting a timer on your irrigation system ensures that your lawn will receive the right amount of water at the right times. Low areas with puddles should be leveled to ensure even water distribution.

Shade

Creating shaded or semi-shaded areas will minimize water usage. It is advisable to put multiple timers on different segments of your irrigation system, allowing full control of watering time and frequency in different areas; shaded areas do not need as much water as full sun areas.

Mowing

When mowing, leave the grass clippings on your lawn rather than using a grass catcher. The clippings will mulch into the lawn and create a protective moisture-holding layer. As they decay, they also provide nutrients to the roots, so your lawn will require less fertilizer over time. Don’t cut your lawn super-short, as the soil will dry out quicker. Adjust your mower height to its highest or close to it. Taller grass blades help mitigate rapid evaporation.

Topping

Even if you had put down an ample layer of topsoil when you originally seeded your lawn, over time the organic matter deteriorates, becomes devoid of essential nutrients, and loses its water retention capacities. Annually topping your lawn with a layer of sphagnum peat moss will restore the moisture-holding top layer, and as it gradually composts into the soil it will nourish the roots and improve soil structure. Top dress your lawn with a 1/4- to 1/2-inch layer of peat moss and rake it in.

Aerating

Using an aerating tool on your lawn allows the roots access to oxygen that is necessary for healthy root growth. Aerating also improves water and fertilizer retention capacity, and alleviates soil compaction, making for deeper root growth and a healthy, vigorous lawn that requires less watering.

5 Ways to Turn Your Backyard into a Summer Sun Refuge

Some people think that Arizonans can’t enjoy the outdoors in summer; this is simply not true. Your yard is a beautiful part of your home, and you should be able to enjoy it any time of year. To work around the scorching summers, consider these five landscaping features you can add to your backyard:

Pagodas and Ramadas

These features are ideal for creating shade, and work best with other man-made features such as chairs, tables, and built-in barbecues. They provide the perfect place for congregating, whether for breakfast or a party. They’re also popular places to mount TVs and sound systems—for some, the shade is just a bonus!

Shade Trees

Trees can take some investment, but are well worth the outcome. Not only do they add natural beauty to your yard, but they also provide protection from the sun. Consider combining shade trees with other features to minimize how much sunlight hits your favorite places in the yard—for instance, having shade trees that will block the sunlight from hitting beneath your pagoda until the sun is high enough for the pagoda to be in the shade.

Waterfalls

Arizona may be the only place where people complain that their pool is too hot, but waterfalls are a clever way to address that complaint. Add a waterfall to your pool, and even the sound it makes will feel refreshing! It adds place of respite to the pool, where you can float or stand beneath the cascade and let it cool you off.

Misters

These are popularly employed by restaurants to make their outdoor seating areas more pleasant—why not have them in your own backyard? Misters can be set up right next to the pool to make lounging more luxurious, or can be mounted from pagodas and ramadas to make seating areas all the nicer. Just turn them on whenever you go out you’ll no longer dread the heat!

Lights

Without proper lighting, you can’t enjoy your backyard at night—which is, by definition, the best time to avoid the sun. Lighting should be considered after you’ve already decided on what you want your backyard to be for. Do you expect you’ll be enjoying nighttime swims, or are you aiming for backyard barbecues? When you know what you want out of your backyard, look at how the right lighting can improve the experience.

All These and More!

If you want to enjoy any of these sun-busting features this summer, call New Image Landscape and Pools today at 480-654-4422 to get your renovations underway!

Arizona Pool Filters: What You Need to Know

If your concerned about the cleanliness of your pool, make sure you have a good grasp on how pool filters impact the overall system. One way to improve your filter is to understand the differences between the types of filters, as well as knowing which filter will fit the needs and standards you have for your pool. Luckily for you, we’ve know all there is to know about pools and Arizona pool filters. Keep reading to learn more about the impact of pool filters; understanding this aspect of how your pool works will prove beneficial in the long run!

Different Types of Arizona Pool Filters

There are three different kinds of pool filters: D.E. (diatomaceous earth), sand, and cartridge filters. These filters are important because they prevent algae and other bacteria from growing in your pool. Filters are what make your pool clear, so these items are good to know about; we know that no one likes a green pool!

Diatomaceous Earth

D.E. uses exoskeletons of diatom, a type of algae, to work like sand and catch particles and microns that would grow in one’s pool. It’s an outstanding process of filtration, but sits on the pricy side, both in initial cost and maintenance. Nevertheless, it will really get the job of filtration done!

Sand

A sand filter is exactly what it sounds like: a large tank with sand where water gets pushed through. The sand filters out any contaminants before they reach the pool. It’s a great system for catching small particles; in fact, particles as small as 20 microns can get caught in a sand filter. Though not as energy efficient, sand filters have a very easy maintenance process and can last up to seven years.

Cartridge

Cartridge filters sit in a small tank. Water comes in through the surface area, hits the cartridge in its middle, and filters down, taking contaminates with it. Those contaminates are then picked up by a paper-like material in the cartridge. To clean the cartridge, one can just take it out and spray it down with hose. It’s energy efficient, low cost, and effective.

What’s Best for Your Pool?

When it comes to this question, it all depends! For those that want the clearest pool, diatomaceous earth will do the job. For those that want the least maintenance, a sand filter will be your best bet. For those that want an energy and cost-efficient filter that keeps the pool just as clean, they’ll want to go for the cartridge. It just depends on the needs of each pool owner and the region and environment they live in.

Give us a call and we’ll help you decide what will work best for you and your pool. We love guiding customers into satisfaction. After knowing what you know now about pool filters, you may not even need our feedback; you may already know which one you want. Contact us today and we’ll help you get the filter that’s best for you.

Arizona Pool Tips to Give Some Reprieve from the Sun

Wondering how you can bring shade to your pool and get a break from the sun? Well, New Image Landscape and Pools has some great options to make your pool a hub for relaxation. Check out our Arizona pool tips and ideas below!

Pool Bars

A pool bar is exactly what you think it is! It’s a bar complete with bar stools, a surface to place your drink, and an area where the bartender and the drinks stay dry! The pool bar comes with a shaded structure, like an umbrella to keep you and your drinks cool. Just swim up to your pool bar, have a drink and enjoy a nice read. You won’t regret having shade that also provides your favorite drinks!

Pagoda

This easy to install shade structure resembles a gazebo, just with a little more flair and design! A pagoda consists of four posts and multiple beams across the top. Pagodas can be decorated with vines or used as an additional space for entertainment near your pool. The word pagoda originally refers to Hindu and Buddhist temples that were created with Asian influence and multiple tiers. Though the landscape version has a simpler purpose, feel free to let history inspire the design of your pagoda by adding some ornamental flair to it. You and your guests will feel as if you are enjoying an oasis in a faraway land!

Waterfall

Including a waterfall in your pool has multiple benefits! But if designed just right, your waterfall can create a magical resting place behind its falling water—a shady and cool enclave! This feature stands out among the other benefits in that it provides a quiet oasis where one can escape the harsh desert sun and find a place to meditate on the beauty of streaming water. So make sure when including your waterfall that you dream up a design that includes a shady enclave where you can sit and take in the coolness of your oasis!

Contact Us for More Arizona Pool Tips

Did you find yourself feeling excited while reading about these shade structures? If so, we want to help take that excitement and translate it into a design that will make your dream pool a reality. We will help you with the logistics of details, designs and the work it will take to make it happen. Contact us today to learn more about how to get started and receive our services!

Arizona Pool Tips: Getting Ready for the Hot, Hot Summer

April is upon us, and that means we have limited time to get our pools ready for the extreme heat that is around the corner. Unlike many places across the country, Arizona pools have to deal with a completely different set of issues because of the heat and the problems that come along with triple digit temperatures. To help you with the fight for your pool, here are a few Arizona pool tips!

Arizona Pool Tips: Toss in a Few Tennis Balls

If you are using your pool regularly, there is a good chance that people have been using sunscreen prior to jumping in. Although sunscreen is the best way to help prevent skin cancer and nasty sun burns, it is extremely harmful to your pool. Sunscreens and tanning oils will build up in the water, creating an oily layer that will sit on the top of the water line. If left unchecked, this will lead to a dirty pool in a short amount of time. An easy solution is to leave a few tennis balls float on the top of the water. The balls will absorb the oils from the top of the water and leave you with a clean and crystal clear pool.

Wipe Down the Tile Line

If you have had a pool, chances are you have scrubbed the sides or bottom to remove contaminants. Just like the bottom of the pool, the tile line at the top will collect debris and contaminants that will dirty your pool. This mostly happens in Arizona when the pool is used or we refill the pool. Since water evaporates quickly in our heat, the debris dries on the tiles and sits there. When the water reaches the tile through either refill or water displacement, the debris will then fall in and dirty your pool quickly. Make sure you keep the top clean throughout the summer season.

Check the Water Level

Arizona is really hot— so hot it will steal your water. The high heat in Arizona causes evaporation much more quickly than in most areas. Make sure that you are checking your pool’s water level to ensure you won’t damage your pool filtration system or ruin the pool’s surface. An easy way to fill it is to install an automatic filler options that will refill the pool water whenever it falls below a certain level.

Improve Your Pool with a Mist System, Heating Element, or Swim Up Bar

Are you tired of your same boring pool? Do you think of your pool as just a dull hole with water in it? Do you want to impress your friends and family with a sweet new pool? Then you should look into some of the best pool upgrades on the market! Besides resurfacing your pool, a mist system, heating element, and swim up bar can really make your pool stand out. Take a look at each individually and see if they will make your pool experience even better!

Improve Your Pool With a Mist System

A mist system for your pool is perfect for those hundred plus degree days. In Phoenix, it gets hot. Not like the traditional summer most are used to, but stand outside and it hurts kind of hot. You would think that a pool could solve this, but on some days it just feels like you are pouring boiling water on yourself to cool down. One way to help those kind of days is a mist system. The mist system sprays water into the air to bring down the temperature around you. This will make your pool experience more fun and give you that refreshing experience you are looking for.

Heating Element

Although we deal with the hot times of the summer, we all live in Arizona for the cooler winter days. We get lucky and nine months out of the year are gorgeous. But when the temperature of the pool sinks below 75, we all run away and fail to use our pool when it’s the most beautiful outside. One way to help beat that cold pool is to add a heating element. You are able to heat your pool year-round to the perfect temperature so that you can get the most out of your pool.

Swim Up Bar

Many people love to drink and lounge by the pool. Why not combine these two pastimes into one amazing pool amenity to improve your pool. A swim up bar comes in many different layouts, but the premise is that you can serve drinks right to the people who are swimming in the pool. This can involve a sunken bar that has full hookups, underwater bar stools in which your pool guests can sit, and even a stylish umbrella to keep your drinks out of the harsh Arizona sun. This upgrade will get used time and time again and make your house the life of the party.

3D Imaging: A New Approach for Envisioning Your Landscape

In the past, homeowners and landscapers approaching the design aspects of landscape and pools had to rely on only flat photos, sketches, and imaging software while fervently hoping that their vision was strong enough to mold these elements into a cohesive, functional landscaping project.

Now, with the development of 3D software, the landscaping and pool design game has changed drastically. New Image Landscape and Pools uses cutting-edge 3D imaging in order to develop and create the perfect vision for your design needs as a homeowner. Learn more about 3D imagining and how it can benefit you below!

How 3D Imaging Can Help

Original imaging software merely allowed you to take a photo of your home and paste custom cut-outs of images onto the front-most part of the scene, resulting in a somewhat photo-realistic complete picture of what the house would look like with the proposed landscaping arrangements. It was limited to viewing from only one particular fixed angle at a time, which oftentimes doesn’t allow for a full imagination of the project.

You could potentially create multiple angles by taking pictures from each angle and curating a picture library to match, but the process is time-consuming. Consequently, imaging software can lead to unrealistic expectations of how the finished product will look, causing you to feel disappointed when the final reveal doesn’t quite match up.

3D imaging software, however, allows the designer to work with shapes by drawing, viewing, or modifying them in three dimensions using x,y,z coordinates to give their drawings depth, height, and width. It also enables the user to move the model around and look at it from various angles, including walkthroughs on most standard programs. Images are created to look more artistic than photo-realistic, but they provide a more complete picture of the intended project.

3D imaging also provides space for greater imagination of individual details, as well as a greater accuracy of scale for the actual construction process. Unlike the static images of imaging software, 3D imaging allows you to see objects like pools, plants, and garden structures from multiple angles to determine how their placement and construction can best add to your yard.

New Image Landscape and Pools – Your Trusted Experts in Outdoor Homecare

Contact our office to schedule a 3D imaging consultation appointment with one of the highly-trained members of our professional landscaping and pool design team and begin creating the yard of your dreams today!